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The NHL and Performance Enhancing Drugs


kinot-1

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Unless you've been in hiding for the last 20 years, you probably have heard of suspensions handed out for the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs. It has happened in the Olympics,,,MLB, NFL, and the NBA, among other leagues, and sports.
So, why is the NHL immune to PED suspensions? I have been unable to find one NHL suspension for the use of PEDs.
The NHL has had a policy against the use of PEDs, in place since July, 2005.
It's hard to believe that not one player has been caught. As well, those players who were playing before 2005, "could" have been using PEDs, but, because there was no policy in place, it didn't matter. Also, there are ways to circumvent the tests, #LanceIdidnottakedrugsarmstrong.
I find it hard to believe that with around 700 NHL players, and countless others in the minor leagues, no player has been caught and suspended.The other major league sports have all suspended players for the use of PEDs, why not the NHL? Are we (the NHL) that clean?
Here's some of the NHL policy.
"Every NHL player will be subject to up to two "no-notice" tests every year, with at least one such test to be conducted on a team-wide basis. Players will be subject to "no-notice" testing at any time."

The full policy and possible suspensions can be found here:

http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26397

FWIW, here's (partially) what BLG had to say about PEDs in the NHL:

"Georges Laraque says he knew a lot of players, including some of the league's top performers, who used steroids while he was in the league. "

Full article here:

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/story/2011/11/05/sp-laraque-nhl.html

<steps down from soap-box >

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its an interesting question.

one could make an argument that an average "skill guy" may not have ever found the need or desire to use PED but i too find it hard to believe that some of the big bruisers and goons never have. Heck I know ordinary, average guys who have used it to 'get bigger' (seems ridiculous to me but whatever).

I would imagine its a combination of the NHL not being too strict on the matter - ie perhaps they warn about "no-notice" tests, or maybe they are not strict in their testing procedures (players can substitute their samples) and masking techniques of those who take them.

It would surprise me if no one in the NHL was taking drugs. Then again, it would not surprise me to find out BGL himself took them ;)

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Anybody thinking drug use doesn't exist in the NHL is living in a bubble. It goes way back and still happens frequently today. Anybody remember Kordic?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1004135/index.htm

This part of the article pretty much sums it up....

If you get caught using marijuana or cocaine, the NHL might ban you for half a season for the first offense. But pump yourself full of steroids, and the morality cops look the other way. Steroids, the league reasons, are not illegal if prescribed by a doctor, and besides, they probably don't enhance the performance of a hockey player. Try telling that to a goon who wants to put on a couple of layers of chemically treated beef, the better to smash Mario Lemieux to smithereens against the boards. Steroids aren't performance-enhancing drugs? John Kordic certainly thought they were.

I believe that his death brought the drug issue to the forefront in the NHL, which was quickly followed by admission from some players about the use of drugs like sudafed,,,but we all know it goes way beyond that.

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I really don't hear much about it in the NFL or NBA either to be honest Or soccer. Or even tennis and golf. Realistcally, outside of the Olympics, the only major sport that seems to get the attention/scandal involving big name players is baseball. I'm sure there are suspensions in the other sports I'm not hearing about, but again nothing with big name players that grabs media attention the way baseball has. (I'm excluding the Tour de France which basically North America would never have cared about if it weren't for Armstrong).

I think the reason is that generally none of these sports require one superhuman athletic trait to be dominate.

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In the NFL, there have been 50 players suspended for PED use.


In MLB, 67 have been suspended since Nov. 2005, with another 20 under investigation.


NBA,,,8 have been caught.


Paraphrasing from an article:

"Either the NHL is the cleanest of all major American sports or its drug-testing program is the easiest to beat."

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I really don't hear much about it in the NFL or NBA either to be honest Or soccer. Or even tennis and golf. Realistcally, outside of the Olympics, the only major sport that seems to get the attention/scandal involving big name players is baseball. I'm sure there are suspensions in the other sports I'm not hearing about, but again nothing with big name players that grabs media attention the way baseball has. (I'm excluding the Tour de France which basically North America would never have cared about if it weren't for Armstrong).

I think the reason is that generally none of these sports require one superhuman athletic trait to be dominate.

If you think that the olympics is the only place where drug testing is done,you are so wrong, most track and field athletes are tested dozens of time during the season.Most international sportsmen are tested a few times during the season in all sports and it is suprising those that have been found to be tested positive.

At one time if you were caught using drugs some sports would ban you for life,now it's so prevelent that they get a years ban.

Most of the world do not care about baseball or basketball or even that much about hockey,these are mostly North American games and although most countries have teams they are not known,but the Tour De Frace is the biggest bike race in the world and road racing cycles or even track racing is one of the biggest sports in the world.

It is mainly the Americans ,Russians and now the Chinese who have been tested positive,of course there are people from other countries,but that is a significantly smaller number.

What bothers me is the number of people who admit to it at a later date,and how many of the other people on their teams and sports get painted the same colour,I must admit it takes some of the fun out of watching sports wandering who is on drugs.

What I don't understand is why all the baseball players take them,it's not like they are real athletes,they hit a ball and run round a little field,not much different from cricket but they run from end to end.

I can remember the first drug scandels,can't say exactly when it was,but it was so shocking at the time,now cheating seems to be the norm.

GO HABS GO :wacko::wacko: :wacko: :wacko::wacko:

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I really don't hear much about it in the NFL or NBA either to be honest Or soccer. Or even tennis and golf. Realistcally, outside of the Olympics, the only major sport that seems to get the attention/scandal involving big name players is baseball. I'm sure there are suspensions in the other sports I'm not hearing about, but again nothing with big name players that grabs media attention the way baseball has. (I'm excluding the Tour de France which basically North America would never have cared about if it weren't for Armstrong).

I think the reason is that generally none of these sports require one superhuman athletic trait to be dominate.

There could be different factors, during the 90's baseball players weren't very subtle about their steroid use. There was even a big debate if the MLB would allow it or not. During the discussions, players were able to play while using steroids openly. I think the other pro sports learned a thing or 2 from the MBL and kept their lips sealed.

Sevral x-NHL players have admitted that fellow NHlers were using steroids, but weren't willing to name names. Teams and pharmacutical companies are working night and day to created steroids that aren't detectable through current testing. Just because we don't hear about it, does not mean they aren't being used by NBA, NFL and NHL players. May even have more cases in the AHL where young prospects are looking for that edge to get them to the next level.

Unless substance abuse becomes public knowledge or becomes an issue, most organizations don't do anything. It was common knowledge that Grant Fuhr was a huge coke head, but while he was leading the league and winning cups, the Oilers had no issue. When his game started to slip, then they stepped in and asked him to clean up. He was eventually move to St Louis.

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  • 3 weeks later...

PED's are obviously a problem, but to a certain extent the issue would be self cleaning because players that take steroids would grow and probably become slower skaters (even with the increase in muscle) and the weakening of tendons, ligaments, and joints would make injuries more prevalent in drug users due to hits. While I'm sure there are players who take PED's, the claim that hockey is the cleanest major sport could be a legitimate one IMO.

The steroids used most often could very well be the ones that help the body recover faster, not just grow stronger. They are used a lot in medicine as it is, so they are probably much easier to access as well. Perhaps players that recover freaky fast from injuries should be investigated, though I'm not sure there is any policy against them.

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...Patches?....

For sure one of the candidates TBH. Before we (at least, I) paint him as a steroid abuser and rulebreaker (aka cheater) though, I don't think using drugs like steroids to recover faster are actually against the rules as long as they aren't a prohibited PED, of which I'm sure the NHL has a list.

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